UPDATE 1-Thai consumer confidence slides to 12-year low on prolonged unrest

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* Consumer confidence down for 11th straight month

* Months of political protests hit consumption, investment

* Consumption seen subdued until late in Q2 - UTCC professor

BANGKOK, March 6 (Reuters) - Thailand's consumer confidence tumbled to a 12-year low in February, a survey showed on Thursday, as political unrest continued to take a toll on consumption and investment in Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy.

The consumer confidence index from the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) fell to 69.9 in February - the lowest since November 2001 - from 71.5 in January. It was the 11th straight month of declines.

Sentiment was also hurt by slowing economic growth and a weaker outlook for this year, with the downward trend likely to continue in the coming months, the university said.

"People are worried about weaker purchasing power, smaller income and fewer new jobs. Consumption is likely to remain subdued until late in the second quarter," UTCC economics professor Thanavath Phonvichai told a news conference.

"There is no positive sign in the first quarter. It remains to be seen when a new government will be formed. If we have a new government and its policies in the second quarter, confidence will return," he said.

The survey also showed that consumers' readiness to spend on new cars dropped to its lowest in 26 months, while that for new houses slid to its lowest in over 8-1/2 years.

Protests aimed at ousting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra are in their fifth month, but at the weekend the remaining activists closed down several big protest sites and moved to a central Bangkok park. A state of emergency in the capital could be extended until the protests end completely.

Thailand held a general election on Feb. 2 but it was disrupted by demonstrators, leaving a caretaker government with limited powers to borrow and spend. It may be a long time before a new functioning government can be installed.

The consumer confidence index has declined steadily since April last year, initially because of slowing economic growth and in recent months due to the political turmoil.

Thailand's economy, Southeast Asia's second largest after that of Indonesia, grew just 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2013 from the previous three months and a year earlier as the turmoil hit consumption, investment and tourism.

Last month, the state planning agency, which compiles gross domestic product data, cut its 2014 GDP growth forecast to 3-4 percent from 4-5 percent. The central bank recently said growth could be less than 3 percent.

In 2013, the economy expanded 2.9 percent, far below the 6.5 percent recorded in 2012.

(Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Chris Gallagher)